Once upon a time, Alison Draper was the publisher of the Dallas Observer. This was back when the thing was printing 200 pages every week. The halcyon days. (Full disclosure: I did some work for her as a freelancer then, and I recently ate pork Wellington at her house.) Draper left the Observer to become publisher of Quick, which was a bit shocking at the time. “Alison Draper? Hard-charging, shot-shooting, ass-kicking Alison working for the — gasp — Morning News?” But she killed it because that’s what she does. Then, if memory serves, she went to work for a fish wholesaler. Same thing: “Fish? Are you serious?” While I have not audited the books of said fishing concern, my understanding is that she orchestrated a turnaround of the company, and it did prosper. Next up was a gig with Creative Loafing, Inc., which owned the Chicago Reader and the sundry Creative Loafing papers. Draper ran the Chicago Reader and served as group publisher for Creative Loafing, but things did not end with confetti and high-fives there. Creative Loafing had been bought in bankruptcy by a venture capital firm that was intent on selling off the pieces. Draper helped sell the Reader earlier this year. Which left her with nothing to do but cook pork Wellington. (Or, truth be told, hire someone to cook pork Wellington, which is always the safer course, if you ask me.)
Well, there’ll be no more lolling about for Alison Draper. Comes news that she has returned to theÂ Morning News. She’s now the GM of an independent operation called CrowdSource — a great name of an events-producing joint, which is exactly what it is. Or, as the official release puts it: “Breaking the mold of traditional events sponsorship models, CrowdSource will create partnerships with event producers and others to provide an array of business and operational services, as well as branding and marketing that leverage the vast inventory and audience relationships of the portfolio of products produced by The Dallas Morning News.”
Quite a mouthful. With Draper at the helm, though, my bet is that it will be as good as the Wellington.